Simple Design Rules to Keep Your Brand Modern

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Whether you are a large-scale business or a small mom-and-pop store, your brand is everything. The design of your brand needs to be polished and refined across all marketing channels. If your brand’s design is old and outdated, your business may fail to make a lasting impression on potential customers. A good brand design should portray your business as smart, professional and current with recent trends. Here are a few easy-to-follow design rules to keep your brand’s design from falling into the prehistoric era.

Type Hierarchy

Making your website copy stand out on the page is essential to capture your site visitors’ attention. One way to make this task simple is by implementing a typographic hierarchy, which means formatting type to show the most important copy, making your website easy to navigate. Adding three levels of typography to your design is a good starting point, with the levels being the headline, subhead and main text. Type hierarchy makes it easy to communicate your message to site visitors at a glance, while also enhancing your website’s readability.

Headline

Subhead

Body copy

Minimal Effects

On average, 25% of site visitors will leave a website if the page does not load in less than 4 seconds. A common reason for slow loading websites is heavy usage of design elements such as Flash, videos and large images. The best sleek and modern brand designs are often the most simple designs. Don’t overcomplicate your design by using a wide array of design effects that take the focus away from your central message. Keep it simple and choose optimized images, simple background colors and a typeface that is in a contrasting color that is easily legible.

Consistency

Arguably the most important design rule is to design with consistency. Consistent design elements on your website and other branded materials is crucial to making your brand instantly recognizable to customers. Try to use a similar color palette throughout all of your brand materials to create visual harmony. Everything should be consistent, from the color palette to the use of white space and the way elements are aligned. Remaining consistent with your design elements ensures that all of your marketing materials are an extension of your brand.

The design that you choose for your brand will play a major role in helping you get noticed by your target audience. A strong visual strategy is just as important as any online marketing strategy. Follow these simple guidelines for a modern brand design that never goes out of style.

Are you asking customers for reviews? You should be.

Asking customers for online reviews

Today, 80% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, which means your business’ reputation is important.* The success of your business is connected to your online reputation, so getting online reviews is key. One of the easiest ways to get reviews for your business is to simply ask your customers. Asking for reviews helps give you the power to control the conversation about your business. Online reviews provide powerful benefits too, including an increase in sales, visibility and credibility.

Online Reviews Boost Sales

Online reviews give potential customers additional insight into your business and influences their decision to purchase a product or service. Studies show that when a business has recent, relevant online reviews, conversions are increased. In fact, according to Shopify, 63% of customers are likely to complete a sale if a business has online reviews. Ask customers to leave a review directly on your website or other popular review sites to see an increase in sales for your business.

Online Reviews Increase Visibility

Similar to the way Demandforce Local increases your business’ online visibility, online reviews can benefit your search engine optimization (SEO). Search engines prioritize content that is uniquely worded, relevant and updated frequently –– content like online reviews. With more customer reviews your business will rank for more search keywords, resulting in increased visibility for your products and services.

Online Reviews Establish Credibility

The old phrase “the only thing worse than bad press is no press” can be applied to a business’ online reputation. Potential customers want to see what other people are saying about your business. If your reviews are scarce or non-existent, this can cause them to doubt your credibility. A good amount of customer reviews, even negative reviews, help to establish your business as credible. Businesses with a credible online presence can improve their online reputation and reach new customers online.

Online Reviews Build a Presence

As you begin to request reviews from customers, be sure to point them to different review sites that help establish your reputation. For example, Yelp could be where you have most of your reviews, while Facebook is bare and needs more attention. There are communications tools that can automate review request emails, pointing customers to a variety of online review sites while focusing only on the ones you choose.

*https://www.brightlocal.com/learn/local-consumer-review-survey/#recommendations

Implementing Your Online Reputation Strategy

Implementing your online reputation strategy

In the first part of this series, Getting Started: Taking Control of your Online Reputation, we kick off where to begin when building and monitoring your online presence. Now that you have your reputation marketing plan mapped out, here are some tools to help you implement your strategy.

1. Claim your business listings and social pages

Customers are searching you online for two reasons: to get your contact information, and to see what other people are saying.

There are some top sites for business listings depending on your industry. Review the ones that show up on the first page of your search and make sure your contact information is correct. If there are other important sites you know as a professional that your business should be listed on – add it! No stone should go unturned.

When it comes to what people are saying about their experience with you, managing your reputation is huge. First, claim your business on Yelp and Google.

If your business doesn’t show up – create your profile! Add your logo and put up some pictures of the inside and outside of your business. It wouldn’t hurt to have a picture of the team either. Customers like to see what they are walking into – it gives them a sense of familiarity.

2. Listen to what your customers are saying

After you’ve claimed your online presence, read any existing customer reviews. Were the reviews accurate to your product or customer service? Are they pointing out areas that you need to improve? It may be hard to read opinions or experiences that aren’t sugar coated, but use it as helpful feedback. It could be really beneficial to your business, and could start bringing in more 4 or 5 star reviews instead of 3 or less.

If there are a couple of unhappy customers that you feel you can help, respond to the reviews and offer them a solution. Thank the customer for their feedback, explain your process and why that may have happened, and possibly offer a solution. But it’s important to know that once you start review management you have to commit to it. Customers will begin to expect a response from you – even the happy ones!

Do online reviews still make you a little nervous? Here is the secret to online reviews.

3. Create targeted messaging for happy customers

Happy customers can be gold for your online reputation. There are a lot of different ways to encourage customers to leave you reviews. Your front desk employees can encourage it verbally at the end of a service, or you can have them send automated texts or emails if you use a marketing software. These messages are normally triggered after an appointment, and if you use a reputation management software, the reviews will be sent straight to Google. And all your staff had to do was click a button!

 

 

 

 

Getting Started: Take Control of your Online Reputation

Getting started with online reputation strategy

What exactly does online reputation mean to your small business?

Think about when you first put up your ‘Open’ sign. Potential patients or clients drove by and considered stopping in, and friends and family showed their support by bringing you business to start you off. Your business’ presence in the community was building – but when attracted customers wanted to learn more, they searched the internet and found an old business listed under your address. Or worse – they found one negative review and nothing else. Now your online reputation is working against you and your new presence in the community.

Taking control of your online reputation may seem overwhelming, so we’ve gathered some tips on where you should get started.

1.  Run a search on Google and Bing

The best place to start is running a simple search on the main search engines. Search your business name alone, and with other important terms like ‘reviews,’ ‘pricing,’ and ‘customer service.’

Right off the bat you’ll get a pulse for what customers are – or are not – saying about your business. You’ll also be able to see where your company website lands in the search engine results. Hopefully it’s the first!

2.  Is the look of your brand consistent?

Your brand’s color palette helps people know they are in the right place. Just like when you order a soda and you are handed a red cup with white lettering – you know right away you’re drinking a Coca-Cola. Make sure you’re seeing consistent colors and logos on your website, social media channels, and business listings. Your brand is a huge support to your online presence, and really acts as the face of your company.

3.  Set reputation goals you want to accomplish

A great way to not be overwhelmed with managing your online reputation is by setting some attainable goals. This will also help you measure your success. Maybe you want to increase the amount of positive reviews you get online to three a month. Pick a review site and detail a plan on how you want to accomplish that. Our Choice Plus package is a great tool to help you set goals. The online reputation dashboard gives you a view into your competitors online presence, your business listings on top sites, and all of your customer reviews in one place.

Be sure to include your employees in these goals so everyone knows what the company is trying to achieve, and consider rewarding them when the goal is met. Taking control of your online reputation should be an enlightening and rewarding experience for the whole team!

Stay tuned for part two of this blog for a roadmap on how to implement your online reputation goals.